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Illegal gold mine told to close

Pav Suy / Khmer Times Share:
The raid was carried out after local media reports on mining activities. Supplied

Authorities shut down an illegal gold mining operation in Kratie province on Monday, arresting one cook while the men in charge managed to escape.

The bust was a joint operation between Kratie Provincial Court and the Department of Mines and Energy.

Deputy prosecutor Chea Sopheak, who led the operation, said the bust was conducted following local media reports on illegal mining activities in the district.

“We were led to the scene by a local media report. I requested permission for my unit and launched the operation,” Mr Sopheak said.

The media report detailed rampant gold mining activities in Sambo district’s Kbal Damrey commune, and criticised local authorities, specifically the mining department, for their inaction.

Mr Sopheak said the persons in charge have yet to be identified.

“We only brought the cook of the camp in for questioning, but failed to arrest the men responsible for the mining. They fled before our intervention,” Mr Sopheak said.

“If there are more mining locations found to be operating without a licence, we will shut them down.”

All digging equipment found at the site was sent to the provincial mining department.

Department director Sok Kirirath could not be reached for comment.

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